Tag Archives: Barco

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 18 December 2014

Kim Jong Il puppet

“The Interview” may have been pulled from cinemas, but that won’t stop this freedom-loving Texan cinema chain from showing a Hollywood film making fun of North Korea’s leaders.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas was one independent cinema willing to brave the threat and show the film regardless, it said. But now that it has been cancelled, they have decided to put on a showing of Team America instead.

The cinema hailed that movie – which is about a North Korean plot to destroy the world – as “THE GREATEST MOVIE MADE ABOUT AMERICAN PATRIOTISM EVER”.

The showing on 27 December will be a free-to-attend, sing-along affair, and the cinema says it will be providing enough red, white and blue paraphernalia for everyone.  LINK

Russian cinema

Russia – The collapsing rubel is having an effect on Russia’s multiplexes, forced to seek changes to the terms of their leases.

Russian cinema chains are calling on owners of shopping malls where their theaters are located to adjust rental contracts against the backdrop of the weakening ruble, which threatens to drive them out of business.

Several large cinema chains, including Cinema Park, Karo Film, Kinomaks and Formula Kino, have sent an open letter to mall owners, requesting that rental contracts, in which rent is normally stipulated in U.S. dollars, be revised and rent fixed in rubles.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 15 December 2014

Wanda Cinema Line Logo

AAM Arts Alliance

Perhaps the biggest news announced at CineAsia was Arts Alliance Media partnership with Wanda Cinemas. It would be good, however, to have a bit more specifics on what exactly the deal entails for both parties.

The partnership will see AAM serving as a primary technology partner to Wanda with the aim of creating efficiencies, increasing revenues and improving customer experience across all of Wanda’s cinema operations. The partnership covers both existing business and future developments.

John Aalbers, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Alliance Media commented “I am delighted to announce this wide-ranging, strategic partnership with Wanda Cinema Line. The initial deal represents one of the most significant in cinema software history. What is even more exciting is that Wanda is a global player with big ambitions and we, at Arts Alliance Media, are going to be right there with them making it happen. Being able to work with such a visionary and strategic partner is very exciting, as it will help keep both companies at the forefront of innovation in the rapidly changing cinema industry for years to come.”  LINK

Orange Wednesdays

UK telecoms operator EE is ending its cinema sponsorship deal after more than a decade, though a new sponsor partner is likely to replace it.

Mobile company EE is to end long-running 2 for 1 cinema deal Orange Wednesdays in February 2015 after the company and cinemas could not agree a commerical deal.

An EE spokesperson said take up of the once “massively successful” offer had declined in recent years due to changing viewing habits:

“Orange Wednesday launched over a decade ago and at its peak was a massive success,” read the statement. “After 10 great years our brand has changed and our customers’ viewing habits have also evolved so it’s time to move on.  LINK

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CJ@CineAsia CineAsia University – Lasers

image

In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Bill Beck, The Laser Guy, Barco

Having confirmed that his business title really is ‘The Laser Guy’ Bill begins, “today I’m going to explain ‘why’ Barco laser.” Mentions the press release yesterday with the milestone of 50,000 Barco screens and Barco also market share leader in laser cinema.

From components to integration.
- First high brightness laser projector 2005,
- First and only cinema-optimised laser projector,
- First and only Integrated cinema media processor 4K3D at 60fps,
- First commercial integrated 6P laser projector.

Also award winner – Lumiere 3D AIS Award and BIRTV 2014 Grand prize.

“Most important point: no lamps. Will save the cost of 120 lamp changes. Super bright at 60,000 lumens. 6 Primary Barco Laser3D that works with all major 3D systems. Also integrates Barco Alchemy cinema processor. We call it integrated because light source is inside projector. Most safe and highest efficiency because the projectors are directly combined. Engineered and testedfor 30,000 hours. 63% more energy efficient than Xenon projector.”

Inside it is 6 Primary Laer3D sets – two each of red, green and blue. Bright, smooth and beatiful colour picture. Works with silver, matt, screen and active or passive 3D glasses. “Clean & Green” is the motto. Over 30,000 hours lifetime it provides 54,000 AVG lumens. Lifetime saving of 150,000 KwH savings over lifetime.

Improve audience experience – Improve exhibitor profitability. Dovetails with Escape, AE, Cinema Barco.

Commerciallly availlable and delivering globally. Installations in China, Europe and the Americas.

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CJ@CineAsia Monetizing Your Digital Investment-In-Theatre Pre-Show Entertainment and Lobby Display

image

In an effort to provide updates on the CineAsia 2014 conference and trade show presently taking place in Hong Kong SAR, this post was written live, and in the present tense, during one of the conference’s presentations. Comments attributed to speaker(s) are paraphrased unless denoted specifically by quotation marks.

Cinemas have been digitized, but for new cinemas that were not covered by VPF there is still a need to make money off digital and the pre-show. That was the topic of the second session of the second day of CineAsia, introdiced by Mark Shaw from Shaw Theatres. The talks were short and because the previous Christie session over-ran, everyone on stage talked extra fast.

Todd Hoddick, VP Global Entertainment Barco -  “You are going to see a lot of great ideas today,” he promised. “All about the ideas you see there are two things – we must improve the audience’s experience, give them an adventure and romance, something they can’t get at home. Secondly, drive revenue. These things will not be driven by VPF. With that, lets start the presentation,”  Todd announces.

1. Industry Overvew

Current state of digitization – mostly converted. Flashes up digitisation by continent (Latin America still lagging). “Most of our customers look for ONE partner they can trust. We are happy to partner with out friends GDC, Doremi and Audience Entertainment. Bring a full solution so you can have a choice of partners.”

“In mature markets we see very flat growth, maybe at most one per cent. Whereas in China we see tremendous growth. 14 screens per day in China,” Todd points out are opening.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 29 October 2014

Regal cinemas

“Psst, wanna buy a cinema?” That seems to be the not-so-subtle message from Regal, the largest cinema chain in the United States, which unexpectedly put a ‘For Sale’ sign on the front door. Speculations immediately focused on Alibab’s Jack Ma, though my gut instinct is that he won’t be following in the footsteps of Wanda/AMC, primarily because his background is not real-estate and there are no obvious Chinese-US synergies to be had from such a deal. A sovereign wealth fund if not VC outfit is more likely to be checking Regal’s numbers right now. Variety covers all the other angles.

Regal CEO Amy Miles was tight-lipped about the issue on an earnings call Monday with analysts and media, only offering that the company’s board felt it was “an opportune time to conduct a thorough review of our options.” But in an interview with Variety for a lengthy profile earlier this month, Miles may have inadvertently explained why Regal shifted from bidder to acquisition target.

“We’re all excited about the years 2015, 2016 and I’m going to be aggressive and say even 2017,” she told Variety at the time. “I think that (in the) environment of very healthy strong box office, it’s a natural time to think, ‘OK that might be a good time for an individual to exit.’ Value maximization happens in that environment.”  LINK

Dolby Doremi Logo

The European commission has give its go-ahead to the Dolby-Doremi merger. The approval was expected but was most likely sitting in the IN tray of some EU bureaucrat away on holiday, or it might have gone through earlier.

Dolby Laboratories (DLB.N) on Monday received EU clearance for its acquisition of digital cinema technology group Doremi, the European Commission said.

The Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the 28-member bloc, said that while there was overlap between the two companies in the digital cinema servers business, the merger did not distort the market.

“The proposed transaction would not lead to any anti-competitive effects because of the presence of alternative suppliers, the fast-moving nature of the market and the ease of switching for customers,” the Commission said in a statement on Monday.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 24 September 2014

Iosono lab

IOSONO – when 11.1 speakers just ain’t enough.

Barco is doubling down on its immersive audio efforts by hiring away IOSONO’s audio team and setting up what is now called Barco Audio Technologies [BAT?]. This could potentially mean moving away from a dependance on the Auro brand and Auro Technologies partnership, though the latter is quoted on how thrilled they too are about the new corporate sibling’s arrival.

With 500 screens committed or installed, Barco is now ready to take immersive sound to the next level. The digital cinema leader is adding the team of 3D audio expert IOSONO and its assets to the Barco family to further enhance and customize its object based immersive sound technology. In this way, it wants to help cinema exhibitors bring even more magic to the movie-going experience.  LINK

And since Barco does not have any film immediately lined up to follow “The Maze Runner” for its Escape triptych-screen it is venturing into event cinema, by announcing a concert film with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.

Barco will collaborate with Universal Music/Interscope Records and recording artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga to bring their performance at the Grand Palace in Brussels into Barco Escape theaters in early 2015.

The performance will be filmed today specifically for the Barco format, the day before Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “Cheek to Cheek” album of jazz and popular standards is set to release worldwide.  LINK

Everstone

The interest in India’s multiplex business is heating up, with yet another private equity company talking to two multiplex veterans about setting up a new cinema venture called Cinemasia, that could be looking beyond just India.

Private equity fund Everstone Capital may team up with two individuals with experience in the entertainment industry to start a venture called Cinemasia, three people familiar with the development said. Everstone is in talks with Shravan Shroff, the former promoter and managing director of multiplex operator Fame India Ltd, and Pramod Arora, who recently quit PVR Ltd as group president, the people said on condition of anonymity.

And:

This would be Everstone’s maiden venture in the multiplex business, which has already attracted other private equity funds. Renuka Ramnath-promoted Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt Ltd and L Capital Asia, the third party private equity fund of LVMH Group, backed PVR Ltd to acquire Cinemax India Ltd in November 2012. Before selling off Fame, Shroff also raised capital from India Value Fund and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.  LINK

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Barco Escape Gets First Real World Test With “Maze Runner”

Maze Runner In Barco Escape

This weekend’s North American debut of Twentieth Century Fox’s “Maze Runner” is enabling Barco to move forward with a new product initiative it first announced at CinemaCon earlier this year.

Barco Escape is an immersive offering being developed by the digital cinema projector manufacturer that wraps three screens around the audience to provide a 270 degree viewing experience. The additional screens are placed to the left and right of the main screen, extending the projection surface and placing images in an audience’s peripheral vision.

The existing visuals of a film shown in the Barco Escape format are not simply extended onto these new screens. Supplemental visual material must be created specifically for the increased projection areas. That is exactly what Barco had to do for the Escape version of “Maze Runner” showing in the following five specially equipped theatres throughout the United States:

  • Cinemark 18 & XD at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles
  • Cinemark Paradise 24 & XD in Davie, Florida
  • Cinemark Legacy Theatre & XD in Plano, Texas
  • Cinemark at Seven Bridges and Imax in Woodridge, Illinois
  • Cinemark’s Redwood Downtown & XD in Redwood City, California

It should be noted that each of these cinemas is owned and operated by Cinemark, a circuit that is predominantly outfitted with Barco projectors. Presumably the exhibitor is assisting the manufacturer with what Barco’s CinemaVangelist Ted Schilowitz refers to as a “technology experiment”.

“We are in probably phase two of something that is not completed yet,” Schilowitz told an audience of press and industry professionals last Wednesday evening before a special screening of the Escape version of “Maze Runner” at the Cinemark 18 in Los Angeles. “You are all getting a sneak peek of something behind the curtain. We have been working with a visual effects team on helping create some of this movie magic.”

Schilowitz was referring to the seven minutes of “Maze Runner” that are projected in the Barco Escape format. This includes the opening scene and an action sequence in the middle of the film. The vfx team will continue to work on “Maze Runner” so that in two or three months an estimated 16 to 18 minutes of the movie will be in the Escape format.

Production of content in the Escape format is one of the biggest hurdles to its adoption. The team working on “Maze Runner” utilized a gaming engine from Crytek a German video game company, to speed up the production of the computer generated visuals. The images were then rendered by supercomputers from Devil & Demon, a company for which Schilowitz serves as president.

Inside a cinema the Barco Escape format requires that an existing theatre be retrofitted not only with two additional screens on the left and right walls, but also with two additional projectors. Unlike the projector that throws the original movie onto the main screen from a projection booth in the back of an auditorium, the two ancillary projectors are mounted to the ceiling inside an auditorium and cast images across the theatre to a screen on the opposite wall.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 5 September 2014

Selfridge cinema

London’s luxury department store Selfridges (star of the ITV drama series about its eponymous American founder) will be one of the first stores in the world to have its own in-house cinema. We like the look of it so much that we even break our usual policy of only posting on photo per story to show you both the outside (above) and inside (below) – so no artwork for China BO.

Selfridges opens the world’s first department store cinema in its iconic Oxford Street store today, which will screen classic and contemporary films.

Selfridges has teamed up with the independent chain Everyman to install the 60-seat 3,500 sq ft experience, located on the store’s lower-ground floor.

The cinema, which will be at Selfridges until spring 2015, will initially screen films selected by designers from the store’s Masters campaign, which showcases the work of 12 influential designers such as Paul Smith, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta.  LINK

Selfridge cinema

China (PRC) – Chinese Mainland box office it set to pass USD $5 billion this year, according to THR.

China’s box office has just passed the key 20 billion yuan ($3.26 billion) threshold, a full three months faster than last year, and is already swiftly approaching last year’s $3.55 billion total.

With a raft of major Hollywood and domestic titles still to come this year in the world’s second-biggest film market, box office is on track for $5 billion in full-year 2014, according to M1905, which is the official website of the state broadcaster’s movie channel, CCTV6.

It took 246 days to break through the 20-billion-yuan marker, which is 96 days faster than last year.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 5 August 2014

Carmike Cinema logo

USA – Carmike has released its quarterly figures and discussed them in a conference call. Overall the company claims to be weathering the downturn pretty well, despite a drop in profits of over 50%, with a strong recent focus on M&As. Here is what S. David Passman III, the company’s President and CEO had to say.

Carmike once again outperformed the overall domestic box office in revenue and attendance during the quarter, which was a challenging period for the U.S. market, due to very strong box office results posted during the second quarter of 2013. Despite the domestic industry decline of almost 7%, Carmike’s admissions revenues actually increased by 7% during the three month period, and our total attendance grew 4%.

On a per screen basis, our box office receipts declined less than 1%. In fact, Carmike’s per screen performance was nearly 600 basis points better than the overall industry. As I have said in the past, while the film slate will vary from quarter-to-quarter, our expanded scale and companywide emphasis on customer service excellence, combined with our growing circuit of high quality theater, remain important factors in our ability to generate favorable operating results over the long term.  LINK

barco_logo

Brazil – Barco is the projector supplier for the recent Doremi/Quanta deal that we wrote about yesterday. Some insights into the market from the press release.

Digital cinema expert Barco is proud to announce that it has recently closed a deal with integrator Quanta DGT to supply 500 digital cinema projectors to theaters in Brazil through a Virtual Print Fee (VPF) financing model. Many of the largest cinema exhibitors – Cinesystem, GNC, Cine Sercla, CineShow, CineArt, AFA Cinemas, PlayArte, Arcoplex, Cinematográfica Araujo – and dozens of small exhibitor groups have chosen to go digital with Barco digital cinema projectors.

While Brazil is the world’s tenth most important cinema market in admissions, the digitization percentage has been quite low for a long time: only around 38% of the 2,500 screens were digitized by the end of 2013. Recent public policies encouraging exhibitors to digitize their screens, including the VPF program, are taking hold and over 70% of the country’s exhibitors have already joined the program. Many of them rely on the support of system integrator Quanta DGT who, together with global digital cinema leader Arts Alliance Media have VPF agreements with the Hollywood studios to fund the rollout of digital cinema across Latin America.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wed/Thur 18-19 June 2014

With Patrick von Sychowski still in Barcelona attending CineEurope, I have been tasked with curating the daily digest posts in his absence. Celluloid Junkie readers (i.e. you) have been telling us lately how much you like the daily digest and I’ll do my best to keep it up as best I can.

Needless to say, the past few days have been filled with news coming out of CineEurope. Not only do we have Patrick’s live blog of the conferences panel sessions, but there is no shortage of press releases being published by industry vendors. Here’s a summary of some of the releases which contained new, updated or relevant information:

Technology

JT Bioscopen Hilversum

Artists rendering of JT Bioscopen cinema being built in Hilversum Media Park

Barco: As is their custom during trade shows, the projector manufacturer has had their public relations department working over time during CineEurope. On Tuesday came news that JT Bioscopen will install a Barco laser projector at one of its multiplexes. More precisely, d-cinema integrator dcinex will install the Barco 6 primary Laser3D (6P) laser-illuminated projector at JT Bioscopen’s new seven-screen complex at Hilversum Media Park.

JT Bioscopen is the second largest cinema chain in the Netherlands (behind Pathé) with 21 multiplexes in 19 different cities. The circuit converted entirely to digital in 2011.

Here’s a nice little factoid front the release:

Known as ‘Holland’s Hollywood’, the Hilversum Media Park houses all major Dutch TV and radio stations, production houses, studios and other companies in the audiovisual and entertainment business.

You learn something new everyday. Granted, Barco was probably hoping that their announcement would help educate people about their 60,000-lumen laser projector which, thanks to the company’s Alchemy technology, can show 4K content at 60 frames per second or in 3D, all while minimizing speckle and thus the need for a mechanical vibrating-screen. But that bit about Holland’s Hollywood seemed like a good piece of trivia worth passing along. LINK

Now, while we’re on the subject of Barco, the company also announced that the relatively new Barco Alchemy Integrated Cinema Media Processor (say that ten times fast) is now fully integrated with Arts Alliance Media’s Screenwriter Theater Management System (TMS). Actually, Screenwriter is the first TMS to be support Barco’s new ICMP (which is how all the cool kids refer to the Integrated Cinema Media Processor). The good news is that any AAM customer already using Screenwriter will also get an upgrade featuring the Alchemy integration, not just customers that deploy the software in the future.

Naturally, Screenwriter already supports a multitude of cinema equipment from various industry vendors. It is, after all, a TMS. This is just the latest integration AAM has completed. Rich Phillips, CTO of AAM, explained this much better in the release, stating:

“We support all the key servers and media blocks, enabling exhibitors to use equipment from different vendors in the same facility seamlessly. We are delighted to be able to now offer the same support for the innovative Barco Alchemy product, giving exhibitors the freedom to make technology decisions that are not limited by compatibility with their existing systems.”

Yeah, Mr. Phillips did a much better job of what I was trying to explain.

Speaking of which, since it’s fairly new we should probably tell you that the Barco ICMP is what is known as an integrated cinema processor, or if you want to sound hip, an ICP. The DCI-approved module goes a step beyond decoding encrypted content as a media block and adds the functionally of a media server onto a single board. This is meant to reduce the amount of digital cinema equipment in the booth. Barco is putting the Alchemy ICMP into all of its new d-cinema projectors, though any of the company’s Series 2 projectors can support the technology. Hard to believe all that fits into the device shown below. LINK

Barco Alchemy ICMP

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